For the past several years, M12 has proudly supported the work of Women in Cloud, a community-led economic development organization on a mission to generate $1 billion in new global economic access for women entrepreneurs by 2030.
With their Cloud Accelerator, Women in Cloud is supporting women-led B2B software companies with customer access, cloud credits, and advisors. Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its outsized impact on women’s unemployment, the opportunity that Women in Cloud provides is not only a moral imperative, but also a business imperative.
Historically, we’ve sponsored an annual dinner for Women in Cloud community members at Microsoft Inspire, the company’s largest partner event of the year. While we have a few activities planned with Women in Cloud adjacent to Microsoft Inspire this week, our partnership has evolved and expanded to better address the challenges facing women technology entrepreneurs today.
Now live, our kickoff collaboration is the #empowHERaccess digital advocacy campaign to accelerate economic access for women. The initiative seeks to raise awareness of the serious impact of COVID-19 on women’s careers and promote stories of women’s professional resilience over the past sixteen months. There are four pillars to the #empowHERaccess campaign:
- A COVID-19 impact report measuring the impact of the pandemic on women technology entrepreneurs globally
- The #empowHERaccess awards, recognizing the work of individuals to provide stability and opportunity to women in technology over the course of the pandemic
- Champion spotlights, a digital celebration of key players increasing economic access in tech published to Women in Cloud’s social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram
- A collective action pledge for leading global companies to commit to unlocking opportunity through procurement and investment vehicles
As an extension of the #emplowHERaccess initiative, several M12 team members will be supporting Women in Cloud at their events coinciding with Microsoft Inspire this week. Principal Priyanka Mitra will judge the #CloudInnovateHER Pitch Challenge, senior portfolio development manager Salonee Shah will join Women in Cloud co-founder and president Chaitra Vedullapalli in a fireside chat to discuss the State of the Business for Women Entrepreneurs Impacted by COVID-19, senior portfolio development manager Catherine Mulcahy will emcee the #empowHERaccess awards ceremony, and head of market development Elisa Garcia Anzano will present the #empowHERaccess award for Outstanding Leadership recognizing contributions to the cloud industry by an individual.
We’re looking forward to the events this week, and the many occasions on the horizon to connect with women B2B SaaS founders early in their company lifecycle—enabled by Women in Cloud. We’ve been able to broaden the benefits of this partnership to our portfolio companies as well: the female founders in our portfolio will have access to promotional opportunities for their technology on the Women in Cloud Solution Marketplace and customer introductions via the Women in Cloud Fortune 100 Lunch & Learn Series.
Thank you to Chaitra, Women in Cloud Global Events Program Lead Raisa Noelle, and Partnership Lead Erin Northern for all of your collaboration to date. I can’t wait to see what we achieve this year!